Sylvester (1985) is a PG rated formula sports story. Not only that, but it is about a less than thrill-a-minute sport, equestrian competition. As one character says, "It's called dressage. It's like watching cement set." Given that, why did I enjoy it so much? Hold that question.
Melissa Gilbert is a 16 year old orphan trying to raise her two young brothers, keep them away from child protective services, keep her boyfriend (Michael Schoeffling) at arms length but not chase him off, and learn to be a horse trainer. She works for curmudgeonly alcoholic Richard Farnsworth, who runs the local stockyard in Martha, Texas. She falls in love with a horse she names Sylvester, and dreams of training him, and becoming a famous trainer. For a girl with a lot of heart and natural talent, but very little experience, it will take the help of Farnsworth, who was in the cavalry and knows horse training, and everyone in Martha Texas to get where she wants to be.
Then there is the problem of Farnsworth's drinking, which reminds her too much of her dead father, the hired hand who tried to rape her, her boyfriend who wants to marry her as soon as possible, and the fact that she has picked prestigious national trials as her first event. As I already said it was a formula sports film, you already know that she succeeds, and everyone in the film finds redemption because of her efforts. So, again, why did I like it?
Well, right off the bat, it has an attempted rape of a minor (Gilbert) whose breasts are exposed during the rape, but was properly rated PG by a kinder, gentler MPAA, and even was nominated a Young Artist Award as a family movie. Yes, parents should be on hand to explain the rape attempt, but it was not at all gratuitous, and was treated exactly the way it should have, as a despicable act by a real creep. I can imagine the current generation MPAA rating of "R, for graphic rape of a minor, some violence and language."
A few seconds of breast exposure, however, would not be enough to overcome the formula plot. The simple answer to why I enjoyed this film was that I liked all of the characters. They were human, with human failings, and were very believably portrayed. In a genre that I think is usually aimed at naive adolescent girls, the girl and her horse story, they have created true family entertainment. Gilbert, in her first feature film, showed amazing range given her Little House training. IMDb readers say 5.2, but with a mean of 6.8. The 6.9 is more representative of the film appeal. It is much better than average given the genre, overcoming a trite formula story line. This is a C+.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
Hi, y'all. I'm taking a mini-vacation.
I'll still be digging up some other crap every day, and will chip in
with some movies as well, but not with my usual volume of verbiage
The Assassination of
The Assassination of Richard Nixon is a fictionalized version of a
real-life story about a sad, wretched man named Sam Byck, an
unemployed tire salesman who intended to kill Richard Nixon by
hijacking an airliner and flying it into the White House. Byck shot
and killed one of the pilots on the Delta flight, wounded another,
then grabbed a nearby passenger and ordered her to "fly the plane".
The airport police finally gunned Byck down through the closed door
of a jetliner filled with passengers.
Researchers found that Byck had revealed his entire plan in a
tape recording he sent to news columnist Jack Anderson, that he had
been arrested protesting in front of the White House in a Santa
suit, and that the Secret Service had first identified him as a
crackpot many years earlier when he had first threatened Nixon, whom
he blamed for the fact that the SBA had denied him a loan. As the
puzzle started to come together, it turned out that Byck had also
sent bizarre tape recordings to various other public figures
including Dr Jonas Salk and Leonard Bernstein. (Byck finished the
Bernstein tape by singing the I Like to Live in America song from
West Side Story.)
The Assassination of Richard Nixon is a tragic film about a man
who might have had a very decent life if he had simply stopped
blaming people for his problems and just worked hard at trying to do
a job well, any job. Because he blamed every personal failure on
external circumstances and vague conspiracies, and because he was a
truly strange man who was stressful to deal with, he was eventually
written off by everyone who might have loved him, including his wife
and his brother. His assassination attempt was just another example
of Byck's bungling. Obviously, his lunacy prevented him from
seeing that a plane can't even get off the ground if one shoots the
pilots, but what is more frightening is the fact that he might have
succeeded with a hijacking if he had waited until the plane was
aloft, then shot the co-pilot to demonstrate his willingness to
kill. He probably would have been unable to get a pilot to fly into
the White House, but he would undoubtedly have caused the deaths of
everyone on that plane. Fortunately, he was incompetent, and the
lives of all those passengers were spared.
So, let me see if I understand this. Byck was an uneducated,
humorless, divorced man with knee-jerk liberal beliefs and a hair
trigger temper. He wrote naive, idealistic letters to public figures
and over time he built up an irrational hatred for the President of
the United States.
Wow. How did they ever think of Sean Penn to play that role?
Do you want to know the strangest thing about that casting? Although
Penn is basically playing himself, Sam Byck is portrayed as a
pathetic soul, a loser unable to take any responsibility for his own
failures, and a man with some rather obvious symptoms of mental
illness. I wonder if Penn is so lacking in self-insight that he
can't see himself in this character. Astounding. Can anybody name
another instance of an actor playing himself as a fool, other than
in comedies? I can't think of a single one. Oh, sure, Bill Shatner
and David Hasselhoff have built second careers entirely around
making fun of themselves, but the key word there is "fun".
Anyway, setting aside the curiosity of casting, this film is
fundamentally Taxi Driver without the muscles. In fact, changing the
real Sam Byck's name to Bicke for this movie seems to be a
deliberate allusion to DeNiro's Taxi Driver character, Travis Bickle.
Why else make that spelling change? The parallel between the two
films is further reinforced by a scene in which Bicke talks to a
The film, having no clear point nor entertainment value, is
essentially just a character study - a one man showcase for
Sean Penn, as Taxi Driver was for DeNiro. Two very good actors, Don
Cheadle (as Bicke's last friend) and Naomi Watts (as Bicke's wife),
are completely wasted in repetitious one-note roles. The friend's
entire role in The Assassination of Richard Nixon consists of
repeating some variations on, "Let's just take it easy now," while
Mrs. Bicke's entire role seems to be to find different ways to
recoil from her creepy ex-husband without setting him off. One other
performer (Jack Thompson) gets a much meatier role as Bicke's
SIDEBAR: the voting and "user comments" at IMDb represent a sad
example of how that particular site is vulnerable to insincere
marketing and ballot-stuffing. In this case, IMDb's algebraic system
caught the obvious "ballot stuffing" and reduced a padded score down
to a reasonable number, but IMDb has no mechanism to prevent
"comment stuffing." The entire comments section seems to be filled
with obviously bogus praise expressed in the wild hyperbole of
studio flacks: "Best film of the year", "the most moving film in
years", and so forth. Upon close scrutiny, one discovers that these
comments come from people who created accounts at IMDb just to
comment on this film, and have never commented on any other film. So
what do regular people really think about it? Well, the top 1000
voters at IMDb, film lovers who are not promoting an agenda, rate
this film a mediocre 5.1 out of 10. Yahoo voters come in with a
similar C+. Both of those scores indicate that it is a mediocre
film, although perhaps one with some excellent attributes. I agree.
Unidentified stripper. This is strange. Although this is obviously a
serious film, and not an exploitation flick, the director threw in a
shot of Bicke getting a quick glimpse of a stripper through the open
door of a strip club. This scene is completely unrelated to the
central narrative, yet brings nothing additional to the film. It
could be cut entirely, or it could be shown from the rear. In other
words, this brief tit-shot is completely gratuitous.
The trailer and several features from Undead.
"Peaceful, rustic Berkeley is a charming fishing community where
life is sweet and the people friendly. All that is about to
change. After losing her childhood farm to the bank, local beauty
Rene decides to leave town and head for the big city. Suddenly, an
avalanche of meteorites races through the sky, bombarding the town
and bringing an otherworldly infection. Departing is going to be
much more difficult than she had planned. The living dead are
awakened and Rene is now caught in a nightmare of zombies hungry
for human flesh. She manages to find salvation in a small isolated
farm house owned by the town loony, Marion. There she is met with
four other desperate survivors. Together they battle their way
through a plague of walking dead and discover that there is more
transpiring than just an infection."
Five clips from Are We There Yet?, the Ice Cube comedy.
- Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean today announced his
candidacy for the chairmanship of the Democratic National
"It is time for the Democrats to pass the torch to a new
generation of losers." "Promising a fresh approach to
defeat, Mr. Dean told his audience, 'In the past, we have lost by
being boring and uncharismatic, but I believe we must lose by
being crazy and wild-eyed.'"
The three largest known stars are identified: "If they
were located in the same place as our own Sun - at the centre of
the Solar System - the stars would stretch out farther than the
orbit of Jupiter."
Concentration test for men
The Daily Show talks about the Inauguration.
The Daily Show's Ed Helms profiles a man who's making it "easier"
for Americans to travel abroad.
Jon Stewart says, "This 'Rathergate' story is queerer than a
rattlesnake smokin' tobaccy in a butter churn."
Fuck Jeeves - ask Hef instead.
Qui-Gon`s ghost in EPISODE III?
24 NEW THINGS ABOUT THE NEW SEASON OF 24
Playboy Playmate faces assault charges. Carmella
DeCesare, who is accused of grabbing a dance pole and
karate-kicking the ex-girlfriend of NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia,
went on trial Tuesday on a misdemeanor assault charge. (DeCesare
is currently dating Garcia)
It's a Wonderful Life - in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.
Lohan - slimmed down for a Rolling Stone photo
Columbia House said to be planning an Adult Video Club:
" Turns out there was a reason why executives from the famous "12
for a penny" Columbia House record and movie club were prowling
the Adult Entertainment Expo last week: They're preparing to
launch their own Adult video club with Playboy Entertainment by
January's end." Next: Popeil's Pocket Fuckerman.
Don King is seeking $2.5 billion in damages from ESPN.
Eight clips from Elektra
Jennifer Garner's life in pictures.
- This week's movies:
Elektra 0% positive reviews.
- "Finally, an entire movie dedicated to Jennifer Garnerís
- "Daredevil wasn't good enough to make a sequel, but it was
apparently good enough to spawn a spinoff called Elektra."
- This week's movies:
Coach Carter - 78%
- This week's movies:
In Good Company - 84% positive reviews
The New Look Courtney Love
Scarlett Johansson says she is quite happy for her male co-stars
to see her breasts.
Great news: the Pirate Soul Museum opens. Blackbeard
and Otis Redding - together at last.
Good news - Thailand is gonna be OK - Ricky Martin is on the case.
Weekly World News: "ANIMAL-LOVING LIFEGUARD RESCUES SHARK FROM FAT
Everything you need in life except beer: a hardcore girl-on-girl
foursome with two sets of twins.
SYMBOLS.com -- the world's largest online encyclopedia of graphic
Spielberg has begun talks with Liam Neeson to play president
Paramount Pictures - 2005 preview
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have been banned from a New Jersey
school after announcing plans to film a segment of their new show
there. Surely that is the first time they have been
caught sneaking IN to school. Now if they really want to make this
a funny segment, let the girls be substitute teachers at the
all-scholarship all-genius Regis High School in New York, and
don't tell them what kind of school it is! I'd pay just to watch
them try to understand the questions they'll be asked.
How to hypnotize a man.
Letterman's Top Ten Proposed Changes At CBS News. This
is one of the best recent lists.
BUSH PROPOSES DIVIDING IRAQ INTO RED, BLUE STATES.
Hopes to Split Nation in Two by Jan. 30 Deadline
Dentists Refusing To Fix Vampires' Teeth. I don't even
know any dentists who work at night. Maybe in northern Norway in
Supersecret celebrity secrets
- "Not guilty, your honor"
Accused counterfeiter attempts to pay his bail - with counterfeit
NASA - Get Ready for the Largest Demolition Derby on the Planet.
An iceberg the size of Long Island is about to collide with a
- Microsoft announced their own
Malicious Software Removal Tool
Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the
since it's sorta in real time.
to submit a URL for Other Crap
In the encyclopedia are some shots of Mirijam Agischewa. If I'm
not mistaken, this could be the same lady who is currently
appearing on Fox TV "24" under the name Shohreh Aghdashloo (Dina
Araz) I think, looking at the pics side by side, that it could be
the same woman. The shots in the encyclopedia appear to be from a
few years ago, but with a change in hair style and a slightly less
severe look.... what do you think? (Too bad there are no shots
available of Kim Raver!)
As a last comment, I must say that the pics in the encyclopedia of
Alberta Watson in The Sweet Hereafter, will make it a lot easier
to handle her acerbic character on this year's 24 (Erin
Driscoll)! Thanks for having them available, she's got quite a
body! You da man!
are the latest movie reviews available at scoopy.com.
- The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the
review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
- If there is a white asterisk, it means that
there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined
there might be something else of interest.
- A blue asterisk indicates the review is written
by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
- If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too
ashamed to admit it.
|A quick site note
Hey gang, we invite you to check out our new affiliate program at Scoopycash.com.
If you have your own site or blog, sign up today and earn some extra cash in 2005 by promoting the Fun House!
NOTE: We currently have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Instead of viewing them online, save the zip files to your hard drive in the directory of your choice, un-zip and play from there.
Today from the Ghost...part one of his coverage of former heffer Ava Fabian (August '86) in various states of undress as she hosts the late night cable series "Erotic Confessions".
- Ava Fabian, topless in every collage. Full frontal views in links 11 and 12. Brief pube sightings in links 13 and 17.
- Ava Fabian zipped .wmvs. Topless in all, full frontal in #5, all 3 B's in link #7 and a hint of pubes in #8.
||Tomei in her undies, showing some serious pokies and getting felt up by Billy Zane in scenes from the 1994 romantic comedy "Only You".
|Nicole and Roxanne Frilot
|The Twins are topless as they get hosed down in scenes from the 'reality movie' "The Real Cancun" (2003).
'Caps and comments by Dann:
If you wake up in the morning thinking about the ending of the movie you've seen the night before, you've probably seen an excellent movie. Open Water is an excellent movie. Yes, seeing two people bobbing around in the ocean for over an hour sounds boring, and it should have been, but this 2003 drama manages to hold your interest throughout, and do it without CGI tricks or mechanical props.
The plot is based on an actual incident in 1998 in Australia, where a married couple were left behind by their diving boat. In shark infested waters miles from land, the divers surface to find themselves alone with the fishies. Not all of these were friendly fishies.
This was an independent film produced on a shoestring budget using unknown actors. No mechanical props or CGI was used. The sharks and other fish are real. The acting is excellent, believable and unforced. The ending is expected and yet surprising at the same time, and stays with you.
In the movie, actor Daniel Travis points out that this kind of thing has happened a few times over the years. In fact, it happened in 2004 in the Miami area; two divers spent almost 24 hours in the open ocean after being left by their dive boat, before being rescued. I highly recommend this movie.
|Vejiita 'caps of the Mexican actress(and Mexican Big Brother contestant) in several bikini, lingerie and other partially revealing scenes from "Devil's Knight" (2003). Links 6-9 feature her topless while on top in a love scene, but it's dark and it appears that her nipples are still kept out of sight.
|Señor Skin 'caps of the Italian babe showing off a beautiful and all natural body (the kind they just don't make any more). Here she is in a triple B performance from "Malizia" (1973).
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
SIMON COWELL'S SOFTER SIDE
Appalling! - "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell is softening his image by
appearing in an anti-fur ad for PETA. It shows him smiling and hugging a dog,
with the caption, "If you wouldn't wear your dog, please don't wear fur."
Oddly, they picked the one person for this campaign who WOULD wear his dog.
Simon thinks that if anything should be skinned alive, it's William Hung.
BBC TAPES KABBALAH EXPOSE
Nu-nu-nu-nu-nuts - A BBC reporter who snuck a hidden camera into a Kabbalah
meeting in London reports that he was charged $1500 for a seat at a group
dinner with Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie, some "healing water" and some
Aramaic texts he couldn't read. He was told if he drank the water and ran his
hands over the texts, it would cure his cancer. He also said the dinner turned
into a weird service with Madonna and the rest all facing east, pushing the air
with their hands, and chanting "Cher-er-er-er-nobyl," to use the power of
Kabbalah to drive the radiation out of Chernobyl.
That can't possibly work...They're way too far from Chernobyl.
Too late: the radiation has already killed their last few brain cells.
MR. BLACKWELL'S WORST-DRESSED LIST
Hilton Needs Redecorating - Tuesday, nasty designer Mr. Blackwell released
his 45th annual Worst Dressed List. Counting down from #10, they are Anna
Nicole Smith ("looks like a rag doll trapped in a wind machine"), Meryl Streep,
Paula Abdul, Britney Spears ("a clothes encounter of the catastrophic kind"),
Serena Williams, Paris Hilton, Courtney Love ("Medusa stuck in a meltdown mode"),
(tie) Ashlee and Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan ("Overhyped and
underdressed"), and at #1: Nicollette Sheridan. Blackwell said, "In barely-there bombs,
she's a taste-free pain. Let's crown her the Tacky Temptress of Wisteria Lane!"
But she's not really a tacky bitch, she just plays one on
TV...Sort of like Mr. Blackwell.
If she was angry, her face didn't show it.